White Mountain National Forest
719 N Main Street
Laconia, NH 03246
Web site: http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain
District Ranger Stations
Ammonoosuc Ranger Station
Bethlehem, NH 03574
Approximately one mile off US Rte. 3 and US Rte. 302 on Trudeau Road.
Androscoggin Ranger District
80 Glen Road
Gorham, NH 03581
Approximately three miles south of US Rte. 2 on NH Rte. 16 (Glen Road).
Evans Notch Ranger Station
18 Maryville Road
Bethel, ME 04217-4400
US Rte. 2, Bridge St.
Pemigewasset Ranger Station
RFD #3, Box 15, Route 175
Plymouth, NH 03264
Rte. 93 North to Plymouth State College (Exit 25). Bear left, uphill, left at fork in road at top of hill onto Rte. 175; building is one mile on left.
Saco Ranger Station
RFD #1, Box 94
Conway, NH 03818
Approximately 100 yards off US Rte. 16 on the Kancamagus Highway.
Books and Maps
The most thorough guide to the White Mountain National Forest and surrounding areas is the Appalachian Mountain Club's AMC White Mountain Guide. Its pages describe every trail in the Forest, and it comes with detailed topographical maps. Anyone undertaking more than a day's journey in the Forest should have this book.
Appalachian Mountain Club - Private organization that maintains trails and shelters, including the Appalachian Trail and the AMC Huts. Go to their Web site for more information on reserving a spot in a prime AMC Hut.
White Mountain National Forest - Official USFS site.
White Mountain Server - Comprehensive collection of information on White Mountain peaks, maintained by the Dartmouth College Outing Club.
A Word of Caution
The White Mountains may only be half as high as your average peak in the Rockies, but that doesn't mean you can take them lightly. The fastest wind speed ever recorded anywhere was a 231-mile-per-hour gust measured on the summit of Mt. Washington. With frequent storms throughout the year and a climate comparable to that of Antarctica, the White Mountains' reputation as home to the world's worst weather may not be an exaggeration. Keep that in mind when planning any trip to the Forest, especially if you expect to journey above timberline.
Backcountry Facilities in the Northern Presidentials
|Crag Camp (RMC)||Via Randolph Path, Hincks Trail, & Spur Trail, 3.2 miles S of Rte. 2||14||Yes||Reconstructed in 1993. Closed cabin; no heat. Groups limited to 10. Elevation 4,200'.|
|Gray Knob (RMC)||Via Lowe's Path, 3.2 miles S of Rte. 2||15||Yes||Closed & insulated cabin. Gas stove for cooking July & August; wood stove rest of year. Caretaker year-round. Groups limited to 10. Elevation 4,400'.|
|Hermit Lake Shelters (AMC)||Tuckerman Ravine Trail, 2.4 miles from AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, Rte. 16||86||Yes||12 lean-tos, 3 tent platforms, toilets. No dispersed camping or wood fires allowed. Year-round caretaker. Tickets must be purchased at Pinkham Notch Visitor Center. First-come, first served. Elevation 4,100'.|
|Lakes of the Clouds Hut (AMC)||On Crawford Path, 1.4 miles south of Mt. Washington summit||90||Yes||Meals & lodging. Trail & weather information. Sleeping space in Refuge Room for 8 backpackers (backpackers' reservations may be made from any hut no more than 48 hrs. in advance). Call AMC for reservations: 603-466-2727. Elevation 5,000'.|
|Log Cabin (RMC)||Lowe's Path, 2.5 miles S of Rte. 2||8||Yes||Partially enclosed log shelter; pit toilet. No wood fires allowed. Elevation 3,300'.|
|Madison Spring Hut (AMC)||Via Valley Way Trail, Hut 3.5 miles S (AMC) of Rte. 2||50||Yes||Meals & lodging. Trail & weather information. No backpacking facilities available. Call AMC for reservations. Elevation 4,700'.|
|Osgood Tentsite (USFS)||Via Great Gulf and Osgood Trails, 2.5 miles from Rte. 16.||15||No||3 tent platforms & pit toilet. Elevation 2,500'.|
|The Perch (RMC)||Perch Path, via Randolph Path, 5.3 miles||22||Yes||3-sided log shelter and 4 tent platforms; pit toilet. At head of Cascade Ravine. No wood fires allowed. Groups limited to 10. Elevation 4,300'.|
|Pinkham Notch Visitor Center (AMC)||Rte. 16,10 mi. south of Gorham||100||Yes||Meals & lodging. Trail & weather information. Basic equipment, maps, & guidebooks are sold. Workshops, lectures, & seminars are available. Winter hikers/climbers should register here before starting hikes/climbs. Call AMC for reservations. Elevation 2,011'.|
|Valley Way Tentsite (USFS)||Via Valley Way Trail, 3.1 miles S (USFS) of Rte. 2||10||No||2 tent platforms & pit toilet. Elevation 4,063'.|
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication